Rolling Stone - 04/05/1990
"...Erotic and spine-tingling, this thriller has undeniable allure..."
New York Times - 03/09/1990
"...BAD INFLUENCE is an entertaining, expensive-looking suspense thriller....Sharply observed..."
Total Film - 10/01/2000
In this psychological thriller directed by Curtis Hanson, James Spader stars as Michael Boll, a meek executive who lives a boring life. Though he wants nothing more than to be successful at work, Michael does nothing when a sneaky coworker consistently throws wrenches into his plan. His love life is not much better--he's engaged to a woman who has their entire future planned. Escaping from the office for a drink, Michael is saved from a violent barroom brawl by the mysterious Alex (Rob Lowe). Wimpy Michael befriends Alex, who introduces him to the seedy underground scene in Los Angeles. At first Michael enjoys his new adventure and is empowered by the advice that Alex offers, becoming bolder and taking action to get what he wants. But when Alex begins to influence every aspect of Michael's professional and personal life, drawing him into his own dark world of theft, sex, voyeurism, and murder, Michael has to save himself from this sadistic stranger's depravity. Christian Clemenson stars as Michael's brother, and Lisa Zane is the seductive Claire. Blink and you'll miss David Duchovny, who is billed as Club Goer.
A young, successful marketing analyst, engaged to the perfect brunette and climbing the corporate ladder, befriends a handsome drifter who lives by no rules. Soon the friendship gets out of control, and the young exec realizes that his dream life is becoming a nightmare.
BAD INFLUENCE is a variation on the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.
Selected for the 1990 Deauville Film Festival.
BAD INFLUENCE contains a film clip from Jean-Luc Godard's ALPHAVILLE, starring Eddie Constantine and Anna Karina.
Screenwriter David Koepp went on to write the scripts for many other films, including JURASSIC PARK, JURASSIC PARK: THE LOST WORLD, and STIR OF ECHOES.
The project achieved a great deal of notoriety due to the casting of Rob Lowe as the videotaping psychopath. Prior to the film's release, Lowe had been arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, for having sexual relations with a minor--and recording the encounter on video. The charges were subsequently dropped but the scandal lingered, and bootleg dubs of the evidence tape circulated for years afterwards.